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HBO Again Leads Emmy Nominations With 81

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Complete Coverage: 2012 Primetime Emmys

UPDATED: 11:30 a.m. ET

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced Thursday morning and cable continued to dominate the drama picks and even saw three HBO entries recognized for outstanding comedy series, a category broadcast dominated last year.

HBO again led the pack with 81 nominations, though that was well below the 104 nods it received last year. Its next closest competitor, CBS, saw 60 nominations, up from the 50 it received in 2011.

PBS was the second-most nominated broadcast network with 58, up from 43 last year, and NBC has 51, up from last year's 46. ABC saw 48 nominations, up from last year's 40 and Fox was far behind with 26, down from last year's 42.

After HBO, the overall and cable leader, AMC was second among cablers and improved its tally to 34 nominations, up from 29. FX was in third with 26, a big jump from last year's six thanks in large part to American Horror Story, which tied Mad Men for the most series nods with 17. Showtime received 22 noms, up from last year's 21, while History received 17, almost exclusively for western miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.

AMC's Mad Men will attempt to make history this year with a record five consecutive outstanding drama wins; it currently ties The West WingHill Street Blues and L.A. Law with four. The 1960s period drama will face stiff competition though from category newcomers Downton Abbey, which won in the miniseries category in 2011, and Homeland (this year's Golden Globe winner) as well as fellow AMC series Breaking Bad and HBO's duo ofBoardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones.

Downton Abbey -- which earned PBS its first outstanding drama series nod in 35 years -- and History's Hatfields & McCoys each garnered 16 noms. Each series saw its actors recognized as well, with Downton's Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery and Hatfields' Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton all receiving lead acting nominations.

HBO's nominations included 15 for movie Hemingway & Gellhorn, whose stars Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman were recognized with acting noms, and 12 apiece for Boardwalk Empire and outstanding miniseries/movie nominee Game Change.

Steve Buscemi was again recognized with an acting nom for Boardwalk as were Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson of Game Change. Peter Dinklage, last year's winner in the category, was again nominated for supporting actor in a drama series for Game of Thrones.

Three-time lead drama actor winner Bryan Cranston is in the running again this year after Breaking Bad was ineligible in 2011. He'll face off against perennial nominees Mad Men's Jon Hamm and Dexter's Michael C. Hall as well as Buscemi and newcomers Bonneville and Homeland's Damian Lewis.

Last year's winner, The Good Wife's Julianna Margulies, and Homeland's Claire Danes, who won the Golden Globe in 2012, are favorites in the lead drama actress field. Elisabeth Moss repeated for her role as copywriter Peggy Olsen in Mad Men as did Kathy Bates for the now-cancelled Harry's Law. Downton's Dockery and Damages' Glenn Close round out the field.

In a shift from last year, three broadcast comedies -- The Big Bang TheoryModern Family and 30 Rock -- shared the outstanding comedy series nominations with three cable entries, the HBO comedies Curb Your EnthusiasmGirls and Veep.

Big Bang, which received its second nomination, has had a banner year, surpassing Two and a Half Men as TV's top-rated comedy. Two-time winner Jim Parsons was again nominated in the lead actor category for his role as uber-geek Sheldon Cooper.

CBS' Big Bang will face two-time winner Modern Family, still considered the favorite in the category, which received 14 nominations, the most of any comedy. Like last year, its entire adult cast -- Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Ed O'Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet -- is also nominated.

Notably excluded from the comedy category is NBC's Parks and Recreation, though series star Amy Poehler was again nominated. Three of the six lead comedy actress nominees came from nominated series: Girls' Lena Dunham, 30 Rock's Tina Fey and Veep's Julia Louis Dreyfus. Along with Poehler, last year's winner, Mike & Molly's Melissa McCarthy was again nominated, along with previous winner Edie Falco of Nurse Jackie and newcomer Zooey Deschanel of New Girl.

The lead actor in a comedy category also saw three nominees from nominated series, with Parsons, former winner Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock and Curb's Larry David. Louis C.K. of Louie repeated, while Two and a Half Men's Jon Cryer, submitted this year as lead actor rather than supporting, was also recognized. House of Lie's Don Cheadle is the category's newcomer.

NBC's The Voice is the newcomer to the outstanding reality competition program category, which replaces Fox's American Idol on the list. The rest of the category is filled by repeat nominees: perennial winner The Amazing Race, Bravo's Top Chef, Lifetime's Project Runway, ABC's Dancing With the Stars and Fox's So You Think You Can Dance.

Many of those programs' hosts were also nominated: Amazing Race's Phil Keoghan, DWTS' Tom Bergeron and SYTYCD's Cat Deeley. Also recognized were Idol's Ryan Seacrest and Betty White of Betty White's Off Their Rockers. Notably excluded was Survivor's Jeff Probst, who has won the category every year since it was added.

Nominated in the outstanding reality program category are PBS' Antiques Roadshow, ABC's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Discovery Channel's MythBusters, ABC's Shark Tank, CBS' Undercover Boss and NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?

FX's American Horror Story, starring the nominated Connie Britton, or History's Hatfields & McCoys would seem to be the favorite for outstanding miniseries or movie with their 17 and 16 respective total nominations. Other nominees in the category are HBO's Game Change and Hemingway & Gellhorn, BBC America's Luther, starring repeat nominee Idris Elba, and PBS's Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia starring the nominated Benedict Cumberbatch.

In comedy/variety, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will have the chance to extend its run in the category to 10 consecutive years. It will face fellow Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, NBC's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live and HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher.

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Sept. 23 on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Full list of nominees in major categories below:

Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO
Girls, HBO
Modern Family, ABC
30 Rock, NBC
Veep, HBO

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Weaver, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Breaking Bad, AMC
Downton Abbey, PBS
Game of Thrones, HBO
Homeland, Showtime
Mad Men, AMC

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jared Harris, Mad Men

Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story, FX
Game Change, HBO
Hatfields & McCoys, History
Hemingway & Gellhorn, HBO
Luther, BBC America
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia, PBS

Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Connie Britton, American Horror Story
Ashley Judd, Missing
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Idris Elba, Luther
Woody Harrerlson, Game Change
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys

Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys
Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece)

Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story
Ed Harris, Game Change
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia

Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
The Daily Show, Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, NBC
Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO
Saturday Night Live, NBC

Reality - Competition Program
The Amazing Race, CBS
Dancing With the Stars, ABC
Project Runway, Lifetime
So You Think You Can Dance, Fox
Top Chef, Bravo
The Voice, NBC

Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers